Aim: We hypothesized that myogenic differentiation of HSMC would yield a more insulin responsive phenotype.
Methods: We assessed expression of several proteins involved in insulin action or myogenesis during differentiation of primary human skeletal muscle cultures (HSMC).
Results: Differentiation increased creatine kinase activity and expression of desmin and myocyte enhancer factor (MEF)2C. No change in expression was observed for big mitogen-activated protein kinase (BMK1/ERK5), MEF2A, insulin receptor (IR), hexokinase II, and IR substrates 1 and 2, while expression of glycogen synthase, extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 and 2 (ERK1/2 MAP kinase) and the insulin responsive aminopeptidase increased after differentiation. In contrast to protein kinase B (PKB)a, expression of (PKB)b increased, with differentiation. Both basal and insulin-stimulated PI 3-kinase activity increased with differentiation. Insulin-mediated phosphorylation of PKB and ERK1/2 MAP kinase increased after differentiation.
Conclusion: Components of the insulin-signalling machinery are expressed in myoblast and myotube HSMC; however, insulin responsiveness to PKB and ERK MAP kinase phosphorylation increases with differentiation.